Visagapatam ivory and horn chess set

This lovely set had a crazy start in its life.

My mother in the 1950’s would visit Portobello Road and buy things for others, but my father showed no interest in chess, and was gifted this set with a small Cantonese travel set and ivory inlaid board. So one day in 1965 my parents ( who later divorced) had a shouting match row near me as a 12 year old kid –  suddenly my father rushed towards me and gifted me this lovely set! Stunned I was, so when my mother yelled “are you mad giving such an antique set to a child”?, I grabbed the set and hid it, and as the story goes she never saw both collectables again, and I never mentioned them again.  In 2004 i took some quality photos to Sotheby’s and this well known firm was unable to identify this set, so an ebay seller kindly informed me of its origin which was India,  probably 1830- 1850’s . The rooks are lovely chunky pieces outweighing the 4 inch king. These lovely sets are not rare and very ‘gettable’ if you want one!


Posted on

March 25, 2019

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